In 2018/19 the innovation fellowship recruited 16 fellows with innovations on the themes of Workforce and Patient Safety.

Innovators working on wide-ranging solutions at varying stages of development, from concept through to marketable product, were selected to participate in the 18-19 fellowship programme.

Their innovations included:

  • digital platform to manage the locum bank
  • wearable posture trainer
  • secure digital image sharing
  • programme to enhance the pipeline of local school children into medical careers
  • medical applications of watercress derived urease inhibitors
  • pathway for disability and workforce planning
  • history taking software

Support given

  • Each fellow was designated a mentor from the MSE group to support them with their innovation.
  • Innovators in the early conceptual and research stages were given support to develop their idea into something more tangible.
  • Fellows, who had a product that they were looking to test on fertile ground, were offered support navigating the organisation and building key relationships.

The Innovation programme team at MSE includes:

  • Professor Tony Young  – M&SE STP Associate Clinical Director of Innovation – Tony Young Bio
  • Charlotte Williams,  Group Director of Strategy and New Care Models at MSE Group of hospitals – Charlotte Williams Bio
  • Sarah Mills,  Innovation programme manager – Sarah Mills Bio
  • Project Support Officer

The team has links with Academic Health Science Networks in London and east of England, partner commissioning and provider organisations across the MSE STP, Health Enterprise East, Industry, National innovation programmes and other experts needed to support the programme and the fellows

Case Study:

One of the best preforming innovation from the internal cohort of fellows demonstrates the potential of the fellowship when all the elements are in place. ShiftPartner is a staff bank app developed in house by consultant anaesthetist and chief clinical information officer for Mid-Essex Hospital Trust (MEHT), Dilshan Arawwawala. Prior to the fellowship, Dilshan had engaged a cloud-based software development partner to develop his product and begun testing it within theatres and ITU at MEHT. Through the innovation fellowship he has been supported to:

  • navigate the group system by a well-connected and informed mentor
  • engaged key clinical and corporate stakeholders
  • Obtain meetings with large industry suppliers and IP experts
  • invested the necessary discretionary effort to drive the innovation forward
  • Secured small amounts of funding and agreement to progress to a more formal collaboration with MSE Hospitals Group

The success of ShiftPartner is further enhanced as it aligns to a key organisational priority. To date, Dilshan has been able to demonstrate a cost avoidance to the group in agency fees and the application is routinely used by operating department practitioners (ODPs) and intensive care staff at Broomfield Hospital. Its use is scaling to Southend and Basildon operating theatre and intensive care unit staff from September 2019.

Some fellows from the 2018-19 cohort also got opportunity to present their work at national events like NHS Expo.

Mark Lazarus, MSE innovation fellow, talking about his ambition for empowering patients with arthritis through digital innovation at NHS Expo 2018